Styled Spotlight: Jose Garces, Owner & Chef, Garces Group
1. Let’s get to know you! Tell us a little bit about your background.
These past ten years since Amada opened in 2005 in Philadelphia have been wonderful, and I couldn’t feel more fortunate. Now, in addition to Garces Events, Garces Group operates over fifteen restaurants across the country, with concepts ranging from authentic Andalusian tapas and modern Mexican street food to European bistro fare and artisanal American food and drink. In 2009, I was honored to win the James Beard Foundation’s “Best Chef Mid-Atlantic” award, and I also hold the title of Iron Chef.
2. How did you decide to start Garces Catering?
Many of our regular restaurant guests asked if we could bring the restaurant experience directly to their homes and celebrations.
3. What do you love most about weddings/ events in Philadelphia?
Food has a powerful way of bringing people together – togetherness at the table was one of the elements that initially drew me into cooking. We love being part of a celebration or special day.
4. How would you describe your aesthetic/ approach to food?
The concepts come first, and then we build on the roots of each concept by bringing in bolder flavors. My culinary team and I heavily research each concept by visiting a certain country or region for inspiration. Then, we develop menus drawing on that inspiration but with our own twist.
5. What is one piece of advice you like to impart on brides and grooms?
Sit back, relax, and enjoy these moments! We’ll take care of all of the details to make your day memorable.
1. Hidden gem in Philadelphia?
The ballroom at The Academy of Music is simply stunning. No one would ever guess that such a huge, gorgeous ballroom is hiding behind the three large, curtained doors in the upper ambulatory of The Academy of Music.
2. Favorite food or application you are seeing?
In the past, it almost seemed like there was a formula where composed plates had to include three items. That’s changing now, and it really opens up new avenues of creativity for us.
3. Cocktail hour food/ station?
We offer an option for a Mozzarella Bar station, staffed by one of our chefs who prepares hand made mozzarella to order. Who doesn’t love a warm piece of freshly made mozzarella? The station includes choices for toppings such as prosciutto, basil pesto, balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, heirloom tomatoes, and roasted red peppers, so guests can customize their flavor experience.
4. Dessert for a wedding/event (other than cake!)?
Make your own donut station.
5. Element that always catches your eye?
Service. We are very service-oriented and always strive to make our guests’ experiences top-notch.